Reading Program

6 03 2014

What most people correctly assume is that there is a lot of writing to do in the Creative Writing program. What many don’t know is that there’s a ton of reading to do too. Since all classes are workshop classes, there can be a lot of reading to do for classes, especially if you’re taking longer-form genre classes. Like what I somehow got myself into this year.

Last year, I was taking lyrics, poetry, and creative non-fiction. Lyrics and poetry were pretty one-pagers. Not much time to spend reading.

This semester, I’m taking stageplay (where we’re now reading 20-page one-act plays), TV pilot (where we’re workshopping four to five pilot/specs a class, but we’ve just finished doing outlines and now heading to scripts, which will be around 30-60 pages each), and creative non-fiction (where even the shortest submission is four to five pages). It’s my fault for signing up for these classes, but I guess I didn’t factor in just how much time I’d spend reading and giving feedback. I’m pretty sure others don’t spend as much time as me as evidenced by a short paragraph of feedback I get, but I really value feedback so I can spend quite a bit of time just writing good notes. It’s not really fair, but what’re you gonna do.

At least I had the privilege of handing in a 4,000-word personal essay for workshop last week… which, now that I think about it, I’m not sure if people will have actually read for tomorrow. Ugh.

More scraps of words

28 04 2013

The last one of these three is terrible. I think I wrote it when I was a teenager, about trying to guess a fictional guy’s sexual orientation and not knowing. Anyway, it`s bad. So, voila.

Be still, hummingbird heart


Luckily, he’s not too smart
otherwise he’s bash your head


Wake up from a dream, grinning
me and the boy I’d love to date
(Wish could get into those positions we were in)
‘Cause it’s (the) bottom of the ninth inning
and up to bat is Jake.
Catching on the other team is Jake…

CiTR radio show

9 04 2013

After an embarrassingly long time, I have finally found the link to the CiTR radio show for my song lyrics class. I did a short interview with the DJ in between my songs, which I think I did alright with. I’m the second in the show, and I played two new songs: “In a New Life” and “Once in a Day”.

The volume for the songs is a bit low, unfortunately (I’m listening the show right now). Remember to turn the volume down after the songs so you don’t blow your eardrums out.

Check it out!

On the radio tomorrow!

3 04 2013

Hey everyone.  I just wanted to tell you that my Lyrics class will be taking over the airwaves tomorrow night!  From 9-11pm, we’ll be either playing live in the studio or playing our recordings on Citr, 101.9 FM during a program titled “Live from Thunderbird Radio Hell”. You can also listen online at, as all of their programs stream live.

I haven’t yet decided if I will be playing live or not, but I’d like to.  I do work for 5 hours tomorrow and my voice wears out quite quickly so I may have to play one of my recordings but regardless, hope some of you tune in!

Re-writing songs

1 04 2013

I don’t like it.

Maybe it’s just my process of doing it, but I don’t like it.  I should probably say, more specifically, that I’m not a fan of re-writing lyrics.  In general, lyrics have never been my strong suit.  Today, as I was forced to re-write lyrics for my final portfolio for the class, I found it extremely difficult and not very pleasant.  I wonder if I should say that in the little blurb I have to write about my revision process.

I think part of it is the coercion (perhaps that’s too strong a word to use here) to write songs and then re-write them.  I’ve always thought that good songs will naturally come to you, and many songwriters will agree with that statement.  It makes sense, then, that if you’re forced to re-write a song, it probably won’t be very good.  Ugh.

I’m happy to re-write a creative non-fiction piece, or my TV pilot, or even a fiction piece I’m not very attached to.  But re-writing lyrics in a form that can be very (too?) structured, is enough to make me spend an entire day thinking of rhymes for “spot”.  Which is not a good thing, if that wasn’t clear.

Let Go lyrics draft

11 03 2013

Since my draft for “A Late Valentine” proved to be surprisingly popular,  here’s another draft with even more scribbles for lyrics for a song I recently re-wrote called “Let Go.”

Let Go draft

Back into it

11 01 2013

I’m taking a Lyrics Creative Writing class this semester.  It’s been about a year and a half since I last wrote a song, and before that, probably about another year or so.  I’ve been writing instrumentals, but writing songs, I’ve found, is getting harder and harder to do, especially when there are easier outlets to express how I feel (ie. autobiography).  I’m forcing myself to get back into it though, and I’ve been improvising at the piano to try and find something cool, but, as usual, I’m so picky about melodies and themes, which I think is a good thing, but at the same time, well, not good.

Sometimes, I think back to my best songs (“Almost Here”, “Empty”, “Goodbye Spain”) and I wonder, “How did I write that??”  They’re such good songs and yet I can’t even come up with decent lyrics and melodies these days.  I know I’ve realized that I’m probably a better composer than a lyricist, but dammit, I wanna do both again.

Maybe my golden age has come and gone. 😦

The Hardest Part

6 09 2012

Really digging this song at the moment.  I realized that all of Coldplay’s songs that have a line or two about heartbreak (some more subtle than others), and that’s why I really like some of their songs.  I wouldn’t call myself a fan, but every once in a while, I’ll have a Coldplay craving and there’s that one perfect song that just fits my mood.

One of my favourite parts in “The Hardest Part” is the bridge before the end, the part that goes like this:

Everything I know is wrong
Everything I do just comes undone
And everything is torn apart
Oh and it’s the hardest part

I’ll let you think about why that is.

Note: the video is 8 minutes long but the actual song is about 4 and a half minutes.  I suppose that silence is there for you to think about what you just heard and to digest it thoughtfully, which of course, you’d be doing anyway, right?

30 Day Song Challenge: Day 8: A song that you know all the words to

17 04 2011

Waaaay back when, I went through an S Club 7 phase that eventually turned into an S Club phase (after Paul left).  I remember feeling so proud of being an S Club 7/S Club fan in high school when I brought my new S Club CD to Grade 9 English class, and although nobody else sitting around me listened to them, I felt that much more special.

And then I realized I shouldn’t really feel special.  Because as it turned out, liking a band like S Club 7, who had cheesy, stupid songs about love, friendship, and general being happy was silly.  They were too poppy, too sugary for most people’s standards and I soon realized this.  Though I never grew to disliking or hating their music, after getting older, it just didn’t represent what I felt in the world anymore.  Not everything was sparkles; it wasn’t always an S Club party, and I had never met anyone who I thought was a dream come true.

Nevertheless, I realized yet again that it’s not that S Club 7 didn’t sing about earthquakes and tsunamis and the plight of the world that turned people off — it’s that kids growing up had so much less to worry about and that sometimes, you just want to reach for the stars and to bring it all back.  What’s so wrong with encouragement?

As one youtuber on the “Don’t Stop Movin'” music video succinctly said, “Ah.. when music wasn’t all about whores and sex.”



7 03 2011

Long, long ago, in a basement in East Van, my friend Bekki and I were fidding around with my keyboard while her seemingly schizophrenic cat would jump on our backs, embedding her claws into our skin.  I had suggested previous times for Bekki to write a song, since she was a singer and a pianist like me, but she never seemed driven to do so (also she claimed she wasn’t a songwriter even though she had never actually attempted to write a song).  But this time, for whatever inspired reason, Bekki took out her notebook or random writings over the last many years and we began to deconstruct some interesting lines of her poetry to construct the lyrics of a song.

While I worked on the music, she continued working on the last bits of lyrics, and eventually, this untitled song was born.  Unfortunately, we both thought it was terrible (especially the ending) and it was never performed in public.  That being said, I still remember how the song goes, even after these years…

Bekki had tentatively named it “Patterns” but I don’t quite agree with that title, so it’s still just “Untitled” to me.  Behold my first collaborative effort!


So it begins anew,
I start high but fall in rank.
So far behind, yet I run when called.
Detach me from reality.

You are simple but confusing:
A blank voice pulled aside from memories.
Stab my heart, but it’s too late,
Or maybe I’m just weak…

This bitterness, my only bliss,
this unrequited love.
The filtered sounds give names for tears,
City lights bind all my fears.

Never meant to drown the stars.
Come with me, rewrite these scars.
‘Cause time just seems to slip away,
I lose myself when you’re not here.

So it begins anew.
I started high but fell….